Last updated Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:49pm

A woman wearing a mask against the haze walks past a board saying 'Pray for MH370' in front of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, March 14, 2014. — Reuters picA woman wearing a mask against the haze walks past a board saying 'Pray for MH370' in front of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, March 14, 2014. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Flight MH370 had sent a series of “pings” or electronic pulses, with the last transmitted from a location over water at a cruising altitude, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today as searchers cast their eyes further west towards the Indian Ocean in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) passenger plane.

Citing several unnamed US military and space industry officials who had been briefed on the investigation, the US daily reported that the satellites had also received speed and altitude information about the aircraft from the five or six “pings” before the pulses disappeared, which the experts believe could help them decipher its route and location.

But the people involved in the matter had declined to divulge the specific flight path the plane had transmitted, WSJ reported.

According to the report, an industry official said it was possible that the system sending them had been turned off by someone onboard the plane.

The report follows new evidence showing the Boeing 777-200 jumbo jet carrying 239 people had continued its flight hours after it supposedly left radar detection.

This latest data conflicts, however, with claims just yesterday evening from Malaysian authorities who had disputed reports in the Wall Street Journal that had pointed to the same possibility.

The US navy, which has been roped in to help Malaysia search for the missing aircraft east of Peninsular Malaysia from where it vanished without a trace on March 8, had now turned its sights west towards the Indian Ocean.

WSJ’s report had pointed to data allegedly transmitted from the Boeing 777’s Rolls Royce engines, which was described as “inaccurate” by acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and confirmed by both the engine manufacturer Rolls Royce and Boeing Co.

The international business newspaper has since corrected its report, however, admitting it had wrongly cited US investigators as basing their suspicions on signals from the plane’s Rolls Royce engines.

According to the paper, suspicions that MH370 stayed airborne for several hours had been based on an analysis of signals sent through the plane’s satellite communication (SATCOM) link.

In the Gallery


  • Muslims perform a special prayer for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a Sea Hawk helicopter from the USS Pinckney conduct a search for a missing MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand March 12, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman wearing a mask against the haze walks past a board saying ‘Pray for MH370’ in front of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman who cries is seen through a door of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China hold placards near lit up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing MH370 plane, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students light up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy sits in front of a large projection screen at a briefing for the family members of passengers on board the missing MH370 aircraft, at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman shouts to journalists, in front of a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014, asking not to take pictures of families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370. — Reuters pic

  • A woman cries as she walks out of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A family member of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reacts during a briefing from the Malaysia Airlines at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sit on chairs as they wait for news at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Philippine Navy crew members onboard the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Apolinario Mabini (Patrol Ship 36) scour the West Philippine Sea, as they search for the missing Malaysia Airline MH370 plane, in this picture supplied by the Philippine Navy.

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A man reads a Tamil newspaper with a story about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on its front page in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' message displayed at the digital board at the Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) expressway near the E6 link. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A member of a rescue team takes part in a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A member of a rescue team looks through binoculars during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' projection is seen on the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) building in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

WSJ cited people familiar with the matter as explaining that the SATCOM is designed to automatically transmit the status of onboard systems.

Lending more credence to the WSJ and Reuters reports is fresh information from US officials this morning that there is an “indication” pointing to the possibility that the Malaysia Airlines flight had gone down in the Indian Ocean, which is hundreds of miles off-course the aircraft’s original flight plan.

“We have an indication the plane went down in the Indian Ocean,” a senior Pentagon official told ABC News.

The official added there were indications that the plane flew four or five hours after disappearing from radar and that they believe it went into the water.

The plane was last spotted on radar at 1.30am on Saturday morning, about 120 nautical miles off the coast of Kota Baru which lies on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, near the South China Sea.

The Indian Ocean is far to the west of Malaysia.

For MH370 to reach that location, it would have had to fly several hours past 1.30am when it went missing. The aircraft, according to MAS, was carrying enough fuel to fly up to 8.30am that morning.

Rescue and intelligence officials are still verifying the credibility of the latest data received while search vessels head towards the Indian Ocean to continue their hunt for the aircraft there.

The Pentagon official reportedly  said that the USS Kidd was being moved at the request of Malaysia and is heading towards an area where the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea meet. It has helicopters aboard that can scour the area.

It should take more than 24 hours for the vessel to reach that location.

Vessels from India are also understood to be heading to the area to search for MH370.

As such, the new data has remained somewhat inconclusive for now, as have many other theories and information that have emerged on the mysterious disappearance of MH370 over the past seven days.

MH370 left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am on Saturday morning. The Boeing B777-200 aircraft was carrying 239 people, including 12 flight crew members and two infants.